Estonian New Martyrs canonized by Holy Synod of Constantinople

Istanbul, March 20, 2019

Photo: Romfea Photo: Romfea Having suffered under the heavy yoke of communism in the 20th century, the Estonian land also offered up its faithful hierarchs, clergy, and faithful to the Lord, and, at its recent session, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople resolved to include 8 new names among the ranks of the Estonian New Martyrs.

The New Martyrs, who gave their lives for the Lord between 1944 and 1955, were canonized by Constantinople at the proposal of the Holy Synod of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia, under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, reports Romfea.

The newly-canonized New Martyrs are St. Petеr, Bishop of Tartu and Pechory; St. Alypy, Archimandrite; St. Vladimir, Protopresbyter; St. Seraphim, Priest; St. Ioann, Priest; St. Leonid, Priest; St. Andrei; and St. Alexander.

Their feast day was set for August 20.

On February 22, 2012, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople canonized 11 clergy and laity of the Estonian Church who suffered for their faith during the first Soviet occupation in 1940-1941. They are celebrated on June 14.

The Russian Orthodox Church also celebrates the feast of All Saints of Estonia on November 18, including several New Martyrs and Confessors.


His Grace Bishop Peter (Pyakhkel) of Tartu and Pechory was born in Estonia in 1875. He graduated from the Riga Theological School followed by the Riga Theological Seminary in 1897. He was ordained as a deacon then a priest in 1901.

He served as a priest in both Estonia and Russia and also taught Latin and the Law of God. In August 1933, he became a teacher at the Pechory Theological Seminary.

He was consecrated as the bishop of Pechory on August 7, 1943 in the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Tallinn. His diocese included the southwest of the Estonian General Commissariat.

At the end of the war he was living in Pechory. He was arrested on June 27, 1945. He was sentenced on September 14 to years in labor camps. He died in custody on August 20, 1948.

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